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EMPTY WORDS: New Rochelle Board Opposes Obvious Path to Close Achievement Gap

Written By: Robert Cox

The motto of the New Rochelle Board of Education, printed on every meeting agenda is “Embracing Diversity: Driving Success”

Every school board member and the board member-elects all ran for the school board stating that “equity” was important to them, many included the term in their palm cards and mailers. At the PTSA forum Paul Warhit said “equity” was what he was most passionate about.

For many years, the school board has reviewed the common core test results and all the ways they are working to close the “achievement gap” between the two middle schools.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne has talked from day one about the need for “equity” for all.

On May 9, there was a question at the LWV Forum for School Board candidates which observed that Mount Vernon and White Plains had “re-aligned” their middle schools.

The candidates were asked whether they would support a similar re-alignment in New Rochelle where all 5-6 graders would attend ALMS and all 7-8 graders would attend IEYMS (or visa versa).

The two board member-elects said they would not support re-alignment.

The disparity between rhetoric and action could not be more clear.

If the district did this, it would immediately eliminate the “achievement gap” and create “equity” by giving every student in New Rochelle from 5th grade on the identical educational opportunities with no disparity in resources.


So why does a school board that preaches “diversity is our greatest asset” and “equity an important value” but will not join other similar size Westchester Districts in re-alignment to achieve instantly these values?